1. The recipient’s life expectancy is greatly increased with a living donation over the life expectancy of one spent on dialysis.
2. The average kidney from a living donor lasts almost twice as long as a kidney from a deceased donor.
3. There is a tremendous psychological improvement for the recipient when they become physically independent.
4. A kidney donation usually allows a recipient to re-enter the workforce, thereby becoming a productive member of our society, and gladly paying taxes vs. requiring disability. (Less than 10% of dialysis patients are employed full time or part time.) In addition, the patient is now eligible to keep net wages and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
5. Each living donation either removes one less person from the waiting list and thereby shortens the wait time for those on the list, or saves a person from needing to join the list.
6. Eliminating or reducing the wait list creates a disincentive for any black market transactions. (Compensation for organ donation is presently illegal in the U.S.)
7. A proactive approach to living donation would ease the pressure that can exist within a family for someone to make the donation. Older patients may be reluctant to ask their children or others to sacrifice. Similarly, young adults may be reluctant to ask their children. A true, voluntary “giving” is the best option.
8. The GOLD’s promotion will increase the general awareness of the goodness and need for organ donation. It is presumed that this “soft sell” will positively impact prospective donor families to consent at the time of death. In addition, it should also help the donor registration efforts.